I have a new life goal in life–clearly stated: I’m going to become a philanthropist. I’m going to give back and give hope. I’m making use of my talents and resources and I’m taking my first steps to becoming the person that I aspire to be.
Tithing started it. And, now, there’s Bastian, a Peruvian 2-year-old that I’ve adopted via Unbound. It was a hard process trying to decide who to sponsor; I did not want to be exclusive. I circled the table three times and looked through different children and adult profiles. But I guess something brought me to him and I had prayed earlier to the Holy Spirit to guide my selection. Of course, it wall all rather spontaneous. The decision came to me as I was daydreaming and not being so attentive during Mass. But the homily and its message of hope caught and inspired me. I’ve adopted. I’ve always felt a calling to adopt (but that’s a digression for another day). I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life, like our visiting priest who shared his story.
To keep it short and sweet (as I can possibly manage): He had sponsored a child from Guatemala since that child was 5 years old; now that child is a young man and is attending college. The priest will never forget the time he visited the boy (at 7 years old). The boy kept telling him how happy he was to be able to attend school and shared stories of the things he was learning. Towards the end, the boy began to cry. When asked why he was crying, the boy responded that he was so grateful to be able to go to school and that he would not have had the opportunity if it was not for the giving action of the priest. The priest was touched that the little boy valued so much what we American kids (I’ll admit I did–and sometimes still do!) tend to take for granted.
I can’t do this story enough justice. I’m sure I’ve butchered it in some way and maybe some skeptics out there don’t care too much for it, but the message it spoke to me personally was this: Do what you can. I realize I can’t save everyone but I can do what is in my power when the opportunity arises. Sometimes, I really feel downtrodden when I hear, read, or see someone’s grand story of generosity because I wish that I had it in me to do the same. I think “I’m just one, small person in a world of so many, many people.” But I remember that sometimes “it just takes one” (think The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings *celestial choir ahh* “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future” -Galadriel). And if I can make a difference to just one person, to give them a chance, it would be enough. I’m not trying to toot my own horn (though I am pretty excited about Bastian and can’t wait until he learns how to write so we can exchange letters!) but I do want to share my joy at having taken this chance. I’ve stepped outside my safety comfort zone and it’s made me consider many more possibilities. Honestly, I don’t know what will happen in the future for Bastian or for me but I have hope that something good happens and I trust that it will. I hope that my small deed will bear fruit in Bastian and prosper.
To keep things in perspective: I want to be more than an optometrist but I know this career will open up many more venues for my endeavors. I’m just going to take things bit by bit and trust God and hope and pray. I’m going to try to leave bitterness and resentment behind–take things with a lightened heart and not personally (though the latter is difficult and still a great challenge). One day I will have the grace and eloquence of some of my role models (Audrey Hepburn!). And through my efforts and my mark in the world, I hope to inspire others to do the same.